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As part of its Race To The Top planning, the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) decided to launch an Academy for Transformative Leadership to strengthen leadership for low-achieving schools across the state. RIDE selected NYC Leadership Academy to assist in the design and launch of a variety of new school leadership programs as part of this initiative, including an aspiring principals program, online and face-to-face professional development, and a coaching program to support school leaders.
For the coaching program, NYC Leadership Academy worked with RIDE to recruit and hire several retired Rhode Island school leaders to become coaches for principals in priority schools. Through workshops, online training, observations and feedback, and the opportunity to shadow experienced coaches in New York City, NYC Leadership Academy has worked with the Rhode Island coaches to build their skills and help them develop a community of practice around supporting school leaders who are driving change in the state’s highest needs schools.
Based on NYC Leadership Academy’s signature competency-based approach to coaching, the work of the Rhode Island coaches includes the use of our Leadership Performance Planning Worksheet (LPPW). Using this tool, the coaches and their coachees focus their work on the leadership dimensions most critical to the individual principal’s development as a leader and to his or her ability to successfully address the school’s most urgent priorities.
In addition to supporting principals, the coaches also work with the principals and their school leadership teams to help them more effectively work together and align their shared efforts to improving student performance and achievement.
Teachers21, a non-profit organization in Massachusetts, is known for its professional development, public policy work, and educational research. In 2011, they identified a statewide need for a program that could develop and prepare a pipeline of outstanding school leaders to address the needs of the most challenging schools across the state.
With Race to the Top funding, Teachers21 and NYC Leadership Academy partnered to build the Turnaround Leadership Academy, an intensive program designed to attract, develop, graduate, place, and support an elite cohort of school leaders each year who are committed to closing the achievement gap and transforming low-performing schools.
Leveraging our proven Aspiring Principals Program model and expertise in designing experiential, standards-based training, NYC Leadership Academy worked side-by-side with Teachers21 to design a robust program that meets the needs of local districts with failing schools. The program, which launched in the summer of 2012, includes two tracks – one for experienced principals, with a two-week summer intensive and coaching support, and one for aspiring principals, with a four-week summer intensive, a school-based residency experience, and coaching.
Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College wanted to develop a new program to prepare aspiring leaders for Arizona’s underserved schools. The curriculum had to meet the university’s credit requirement for a master’s degree in educational leadership, while offering an intensive experience that would effectively prepare the aspiring leaders to immediately take on the principalship in high-needs schools throughout the state.
ASU sought out NYC Leadership Academy’s expertise in school leadership development and experience in innovation around principal preparation. We worked with their team to co-design a summer intensive curriculum and to incorporate the competencies outlined in our APP Leadership Matrix throughout the iLeadAZ program.
Now training its third cohort, iLeadAZ selects and prepares educators for school leadership positions in nearly 20 partnering districts, many of which are located in rural communities and serve Native American students. In addition to a five-week summer intensive, the 15-month program offers a combination of online and hybrid courses with participants coming together for weekend conferences six times throughout their residency year, to accommodate for the fact that they are geographically dispersed.